On our last night in Siracusa, we decided to head to the island of Ortiga for drinks. We had been eating at this place on the mainland, but decided three nights in a row was a little excessive. We walked up past the duomo and out to the waterfront and found a busy restaurant among all of the deserted ones. We sat down for a glass of wine and started talking. They gave us peanuts and crackers, but nothing like the spread we found in Siena (see chicken wall in about a week). As we sipped and talked, the people began to finish and move on. By the end of the second glass it was a pretty sparse crowd, but some guys were setting up to play music. At the start of our third glass, we were one of only two groups in the whole place. The other group was a father and son, the kid was probably 8 and was being forced to quit running all around and eat some food. We decided that we really couldn’t let these dudes just sing to a completely empty restaurant, so we decided to stay while they played. Another reason that was thrown around was that maybe the owners would try to lure us with some free shrimp in order to get their only customers to stay.
So the dudes played and played, one was on a sax and the other on his laptop, but he would occasionally sing too. We were literally the only ones outside listening to them for a good 30 minutes or so before a group quietly came and sat in the back. Also, men had been coming and going for a while, but we didn’t see them, since they had been going inside. At the end of the third glass of wine, they finally brought us an little plate of mixed meats, cheeses, olives and artichokes. We were seeing a little headway, but no shrimp yet. Maybe if we played with the kid or cheered for the musicians.
Then we got something that we totally didn’t need, a bottle of wine from one of the guys inside named Peppe. Along with it came a note and since I am quite conceited, I will assume that when Peppe writes, ‘Hello I am Peppe, I would like to know you, may I offer you and your friend a drink?’ that I am the You and mom is the friend. I went in to thank Peppe and to ask him to come talk to us, but when he said he spoke ‘un poco’ english he really meant it, like in the way that I speak ‘un poco’ italiano, which is -can I have a room or where is the bathroom. The conversation went no where which was alright, since it was a little weird.
Around this time, his friend came out who did speak english and said ‘you have seen me around town.’ I don’t know how other people would respond to this statement, but I just sat there in silence for a few seconds. I did not want to insult him, but no, we hadn’t seen him around and he must either be extremely conceited himself or mistaking us for another blond mother daughter troop that was also in Siracusa. I ended up not answering before he pulled out his election flyer. All around Italy, the streets are littered with these election handouts of the candidates and their faces and the bus stops are plastered with giant, though somewhat creepy pictures of the political hopefuls. Ah, so he was running for local office! For those Redmondites, the Rosemary Ives of Siracusa — Although he has yet to be elected.
We chatted for about five minutes before being asked to join in Enzo’s birthday party, which meant going over and sitting near the now large group at the back and singing to this guy Enzo. Then we ate cake with Enzo and his friends before the group retired to hours and hours of karaoke. We hung out and Francesco (the political hopeful) would fill us in on things, like that Enzo LOVED to sing, which was why the ‘band’ was brought in. We endured a few hours of great karaoke performences by our new friends which included many english songs that sounded like someone had forgotten the words and was just humming. We drank and snacked and ended up walking back to the room around 2:30. Fun times. Felice Cumpleanos, Enzo!